Student Art Bloggers
Marlene Dumas - The Painter

The Painter

Marlene Dumas is a South African artist born 3 August 1953 in Cape Town. Most of her works are paintings of figures or heads. What’s intriguing about Dumas’s style is the eerie translucence and pale colour palette that suggest a ghostly aspect in her works. When I went to her exhibit at the Tate Modern, The Image as a Burden, a couple of paintings struck me as incredibly powerful in the ways that they mutilated innocence and morphed it into a horrific form of beauty.

The Painter (1994) was the piece that perturbed me the most. The translucent lack of flesh tone in the child’s face emphasises the demonic sense of murder in the facial expression. The tones of blue across the torso and around the face perfectly contrast the bright stains of red soaking the child’s hands to accentuate the horrific irony of a murderous child. Dumas has successfully created a piece of art that evokes a strong emotional reaction from the viewer, but it is debatable if the work is aesthetically pleasing.  Is the Painter too morbid to be art, or does it’s minimalistic affect make it even more of a successful piece?

Het kwaad is Banaal - Marlene Dumas

Het kwaad is Banaal

Het kwaad is Banaal (1984) is a piece that does not evoke the same initial horror of The Painter, but utilises a layered affect to suggest a skeletal or x-ray aspect to the figure. At first glance, this piece appears messy and the smudges of green, grey and black look like accidental smears of dirt rather than creative additions. As the viewer’s eyes adjust to the sharp contrast of fiery hair and pale skin, the dark smudges become more apparent as a layer underneath the skin. It seems as though the skin on the cheek and hand of the woman had been peeled back to reveal an unstable darkness inside her. Once this is realised, the pink around the woman’s eye, cheek and hand as well as the bright yellow in her lips and hair become accentuated to create a psychotic twist in the viewer’s interpretation of Het queen is Banaal.




Marlene Dumas Rejects Series

Rejects Series

So the question is, does the eerie edge to Dumas’s work emphasise her talent as an artist because it proves her ability to stimulate emotions in her viewers, or is her simplistic style and disportionality in figures unappealing to view?

Before winter  break I’ve been involved in the Memory Project, a program which aim was for us students to make portraits of orphans. This year the project was dedicated to children from India. After contacting the orphanage and having the pictures taken for the portraits, we started the process of sketching and realising the works. Various technics were used and we enjoyed spending time together, drawing, while considering ethical aspects and good causes. My work was mainly in graphite and I used the technique of ‘’chiaroscuro’’ for the contrasts between lights and shadows. The name of the child I’ve portrayed is Anjali and I can definitely tell that this project has been a new experience for me, because, differently from the other times, I’ve been indirectly in touch with my subject and this created a bond I’ve never had with the subjects of my other drawings; for me he was a real person and this project was the reason why we both felt something new: I personally think that for him this was a way to be ‘’close’’ to someone and for me to feel that my work is important to people and not only for me. The finished portraits were then sent to the orphanage and given to the children. This is the result and some of the passages:

''The Memory Project''

Hi there! Here is the new artist that deserves your attention. Russian artist Timofei Smirnov. He was born in 1980 in Moscow, Russia. Artist, graphic designer and PhD in Art History, Timofei Smirnov had graduated very famous Surikov State Art Institute. Timofei as all the artists started his art-career from small exhibitions in Moscow. Later on, he moved to bigger performances. The artist talks about his art being a “self-portrait that he will draw until he dies”.  Moreover, the connection with history is an important part of Smirnov’s art. Master takes the characters and whole expositions from the artists of the past and creates individual artistic pieces. Smirnov calls himself “a metarealist”.

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Hi there!

My name is Alessia and I’m a Junior from Italy!

This is my first year at Tasis and, even if I don’t take any art classes, I’m really interested in art.

My uncle is a painter and he was the one who brought me into this magic world in which also little things and objects are significative.

I’m mainly interested in the classicism, where all the natural forms are emphasised, and the human anatomy, thus I like to be very precise and detailed in my portraits.

I’m really excited to be part of this blog and share my art!


Hi there! I am the newborn blogger in here and my name is Nikita.

I am from Russia. This is my second year in TASIS England. I am Junior and I want to graduate this school!

Art is a big part of me and I am interested in each aspects of Art indeed. Photography, drawings, paintings, sculptures, all kinds of media can bring my attention and explain me its existence.

Since I was in 7th grade I started drawing and it brought me into a huge world of Art. From that time I am trying to learn more and more about Art and, in fact, I want to know how to work with all kinds of media, I want to be versatile in Art. Now I am in IB Visual Art Y1 and this is my favorite class! The opportunity to make Art gives me a chance to express myself and show my feelings. Art helps me to speak to the people in different ways and I guess it is the main point of Art – expression of the people’s feelings and thoughts.

Be yourself and make Art!


The International Food Festival at TASIS is an annual event that celebrates the foods of various cultures.  This is the place where you will find the best of each family’s home recipes and cultural specialties.  The finger sandwiches all the way to the rich curries permeate the air as people amble along from stand to stand, eating their way through the day.  Children take part in activities while adults enjoy the food and appreciate the company of other TASIS families.  This festival is a celebration of cultural differences as well as unity in diversity.  The coming together of people from all backgrounds makes for a great afternoon and an enlightening experience!


International Day

international festival

International Day 2


The Exhibition Tattoo Art Today  was held at Somerset House from 3 July – 5 October of this year. It displayed a substantial body of artwork from highly praised tattoo artists around the globe. The participants, or the artists, were to create a piece of artwork ,in any medium other that ink on skin,  concentrated  on the theme of time. In my heart’s pursuit of becoming an aficionado of modern artistry, I was curious to see the pieces that these artists produced.

From my growing anticipation prior to entering the exhibition, many questions popped into my head . The edgy character that is assumed of tattoo artists is an intriguing subject. Also, the idea of expression and individuality came to play when thinking of  the exhibit. Tattoo artists are in many ways limited to artistic expression depending on the willingness or ideas of the customer and what they want. And some  have more artistic qualities than others. Some were more focused on design, some others focused more weight on emotion.

I did not have any specific expectations. What i noticed was as follows. The artwork was very different. I was also immediately aware that some artists took more advantage of displaying there work than others, and some were more invested. Many works were correlated with asian influence of design and myth. Others had  latin or american latin influences. And some were  neither.

I was most drawn, as usually is the case, to pieces that were more wispy, that contained more layers. I pieces that spoke to me or that I enjoyed played more with aspects of pshycadelia , or ones that seemed more personal , ones that had weight.

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Prague is a city brimming with quaint culture and fascinating history. Though the Czech Republic’s history has been dark, the architecture, art and tourist life displays the city’s determination to overcome the past and start afresh. While traveling, I attempted to capture a variety of snaps that I would later sort through to choose one topic to blog about. It’s stressful to review the shots and choose one theme that best portrays the darling culture of Prague.  I’ve chosen to conjure a medley of pictures that I hope best captures the enchanting city, talented street artists, intricate architecture and array of quick shots that tell more about Prague than words can describe.

hayley prague

This is a view over looking the city. The dark building in the upper center is connected to St. Charles Bridge, one of the city’s most important tourist attractions. Named for the infamous King Charles IV, this bridge was teeming with street artists, musicians and tourists strolling and enjoying the views of the city in autumn.

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Hi, I’m Pilar and am a junior at TASIS. From My Childhood I was been interested in the visual arts. My traveling experiences have allowed me to to develop a growing curiosity of and admiration for different societies and cultures. I am interested in more modern art work  placed relative to the  the spectrum of time. I am also drawn to alternative styles. What is of most interest to me however, is the human, more specifically, human thought and its abstractions and the portrayal of this through artwork. I hope the art blog will experience a great year with post of current artistic pursuits as well as posts on great influences from the past.



Vivian Maier was the first photographer that I did research on last year and since looking at her work, I have learned what photography can really mean. After looking at her work, I really understood that photography can be what ever you want it to be. Vivian Maier inspired me to photograph what I wanted to photograph and I found myself really starting to look for certain photos when I would go out to shoot. Vivian Maier’s work also exposed me to the many ways that you can photography people. After doing this research, I found myself searching for interesting people on the street and trying to capture these abstract moments.

Here Maier has captured a moment in which the viewer is not completely sure of what is happening. We do not know why the police officer is holding this woman. We can only guess as to what is happening based on the woman’s expression. She appears to be a very strong woman emotionally and she appears to be standing up for what ever she believes in and not letting this police officer tell her what to do.

The composition of this photo is extremely well composed. Looking at the shadow created along the left hand side of the image, you can see the outline a figure and there is a nice shadow in the bottom right hand corner. All of these elements surround the main subject of the image, this wealthy looking woman. Maier has captured this very abstract moment in which she has this wealthy looking person almost shining in the sunlight, while everyone else around her is covered by shadows or are out of focus. This is the type of photography that inspired me to look at some of the themes that I enjoy exploring now, which include looking at a wide range of contrast in your image.


I took this photo over the summer while in Pisa, Italy. This is just one of many examples of photos that I have of people. Vivian Maier has inspired me to photography what I like and one of those themes is people. Looking at Maier’s work really opened my eyes to what you can do with photography. To me, this image means more than just a random person on the street. I love the woman’s expression because it matches the tiger on her shirt. Both of them are just staring at me, wondering why I am taking this photo of them, and that is what street photography is all about to me. The ability to capture moments in which people are saying something through their expression and that is what I learned from Vivian Maier.

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TASIS Student Art Bloggers